Te Rūnanga Whakairo is a collective of nationally recognised carvers and sculptors with extensive iwi, whānau and regional networks.
A meeting of recognised artists was held in Taranaki in 2001 to discuss a future direction of whakairo in all its forms and a wide range of issues were canvassed, leading to the resolution of the following statements.
Te Rūnanga Whakairo takes a strong role in maintaining, transmitting and developing he taonga tuku iho associated with whakairo
Tohunga whakairo require ongoing support as invaluable repositories and resources for whakairo with their role involving a diverse range of skill sets and responsibilities.
New sculptural expressions of he taonga tuku iho are supported
Since 2001 Te Rūnanga Whakairo has developed strategies to encourage the development of ‘individual artists’ as regional champions, connected to and supported by a broad network of artists practicing a range of Māori art forms. The Rūnanga also holds the view that ‘whakairo’ is significantly more than just ‘wood carving’ and involves knowledge of forms, design and techniques that may be applied across a diverse range of two and three dimensional art forms. This concept of whakairo is evident in the practice of classically-trained carvers who work at the forefront of multiple contemporary Māori art practices, including tā moko, waka, taonga pūoro, kapa haka and contemporary sculpture employing industrial production processes. Their example provides a source of inspiration for future development and other pathways for advancing the fundamentals of whakairo.
Te Rūnanga Whakairo is focussed on the following areas for strategic development:
Mobilisation and Advocacy
Knowledge and Development
Committee Chair: Rangi Kipa
Committee Members: Jack Brooking, Lyonel Grant, Sam Hauwaho, Eugene Kara, Kereti Rautangata, Takirirangi Smith, Hemi Sundgren